When Maggie Perez auditioned for the Aurora Public Library's Teen Talent Show, she sang Colbie Caillat's "Bubbly" while wearing a pink flower in her hair.
She could never guess that a short while later singer Jim Peterik, who wrote hits like "Eye of the Tiger," would be watching part of her audition and telling producers of his upcoming music video, "That's our girl."
"It's just crazy how it all happened," the West Aurora High School sophomore said. "I auditioned to be in a talent show and about a month later, I got a call to be in a music video."
Peterik, the founder of the Ides of March and Survivor, visited the Aurora Public Library Eola Road Branch on Friday to perform for staff and shoot scenes for the video of "Delusional," the lead single off his new album.
The album "Immortal" was recorded with Peterik's latest band, Pride of Lions, and is set to be released in September.
"We're not a well-known entity in America, but as the cliché goes, we're big in Europe and Japan," Peterik said.
"Delusional" is about letting young people be themselves and encourages children and teens to go after their dreams, even when others tell them it's not possible.
"There's a tendency for the parents and doctors to overmedicate them, to make them just like everybody else, take away their eccentricities and make them more fitting into the norm," Peterik said. "Sometimes that has the effect of choking off some of the inherent genius."
Perez will be featured in the video and will act in several scenes. Peterik said she stood out in her audition video because she didn't seem self-conscious and gave it everything she had.
"I think it was the sincerity that she projected," he said. "There was a certain innocence about her and yet there was a passion at the same time."
Several other young performers will act in different scenes as well, a reflection of Peterik's affinity for mentoring and developing talent.
Peterik said his father was a musician and saxophonist who was always there to lend a hand and inspired his son to help others.
"Any chance I get to mentor someone else, I think that's a golden opportunity," he said. "'Delusional' is kind of unique in that it really emphasizes the mentoring process."
After all his years of performing, Peterik said his love of music keeps him going. Like "Eye of the Tiger," he's always trying to write songs he hopes will outlive him.
Peterik said fans of Survivor and his older hits will hear music reminiscent of that group's sound in Peterik's new album.
"There are echoes of Survivor, but we've also forged a new sound that's different," he said. "But there's certain similarities, like really positive lyrics and, of course, the very melodic melodies."
Perez said she hopes starring in the video will bring her dreams of singing and acting on Broadway and breaking into the music industry a little more within her reach.
And because she has those dreams, she can relate to the message of "Delusional."
"When you're a teen, you have all these dreams about what you want to be," Perez said. "No matter how many people try to push you down, you still have to follow your dreams, and I think that's an important message."